Raising a child with special needs poses numerous challenges, and one of the most daunting ones for parents is ensuring that their child is well-cared for as they transition into adulthood. Planning for this transition requires consideration of various aspects. Let us examine some of these critical areas.
Education: While the public education system provides essential care, structure, and services for special needs children during their childhood, it abruptly ends once they leave school. As a result, parents must prepare for this transition to avoid difficulty for both their child and family. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that a plan containing steps to help special needs students acquire skills necessary for their transition from school to work be included in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at age 14. Schools are obligated to monitor their progress in acquiring these skills. Parents must be aware of their child’s rights and advocate for them during this critical transition.
Employment: Special needs individuals can secure jobs by acquiring skills specific to the workforce. For example, Walmart employed a young lady with special needs as a cashier because she acquired the necessary skills while in school. To prepare their child for the workforce, parents should research companies that hire special needs individuals and the skills required for such jobs. They should also develop these skills in their child. Patience is necessary during and after school as some special needs adults take time to find employment, fearing the loss of benefits.
Financial: Although employment provides extra income for special needs individuals, earning more than the allowable limit may affect their Social Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Once a child reaches 18, their benefits are based on their assets. Parents can protect their child’s assets by creating a first or third-party trust, enabling their child to have benefits and assets.
For parents with special needs children, it is essential to plan early for their child’s future. While the public education system can be helpful, parents need to plan on their own. Fortunately, there are organizations that assist in finding suitable employment opportunities. An elder law attorney specializing in adults with special needs can provide valuable assistance in planning for their financial future. If you have any queries or require additional information, call us today at (888)-748-KING (5464) to schedule your consultation.